Reviewer: David Doyle
Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling has become a magnet for theatre makers looking to explore feelings of isolation and difference in a manner that is accessible for children. Le Gateau Chocolat’s Duckie takes up that mantle in a show packed with charming theatricality and a wonderful central performance, though somewhat beset by moments of confusion.
Duckie is a simple story with enough for both adults and children alike. Central to the success of the show is the central performance of Le Gateau Chocolat who gives a commanding performance that makes the piece eminently watchable. Moments when they sing quickly become the most impressive and it is evident why Le Gateau Chocolat has become such a star. The show is also skilful in its theatricality with some impressive moments of costume design adding flourishes to proceedings. In particular a clever flamingo costume shows the intelligence behind this production. These flourishes add greatly to the show and allow the multiple characters really come to life.
Duckie, for all its charm requires some editing. As the story moves on it becomes somewhat muddled as characters appear and disappear with increasing speed, often confusing the story and the messages that are contained in it. The sound design of the show is at time overwhelming with a confusing narration that hasn’t been edited at certain moments for this run. With some carefully editing, the structure of the show could be clarified to further allow the charming moments of the piece shine through all the more clearly.
Runs until 12 August 2018 | Image: Manuel Vason